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Imaging tool installed at Nanaimo hospital

NANAIMO – A $2.8-million magnetic resonance imaging system is being installed at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
A new MRI machine is installed at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Monday.

Hospital patients will see faster exam times and more comfort thanks to a new magnetic resonance imaging system.

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is installing a $2.8-million MRI system this November.

The machine, provided by Island Health and Nanaimo Regional Hospital District, is expected to provide patients with the latest in medical imaging technology. The new addition has a larger opening for patient comfort and faster electronic processing to reduce exam times, according to a press release from Island Health.

The system will replace an MRI scanner installed at the hospital in 2002.

“The arrival of this new diagnostic equipment is great news for mid-island residents,” said Joe Stanhope, chairman of the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District. “It will be a valuable health care resource in the region and deliver improved care closer to home.”

MRI is used to take images of organs and issues inside the body to help diagnose injuries and medical conditions. According to Island Health, the use of the machines has increased by more than 76 per cent over nine years as the technology has improved and become more effective in diagnosing injuries and diseases.

In 2003-04, there were 13,500 scans in Island Health facilities compared to 23,829 between April 2012 and March 2013.

“MRI is playing an increasingly important role in health care,” said Don Hubbard, board chairman for Island Health. “We appreciate Nanaimo Regional Hospital District for contributing to this project and supporting high quality health care.”

The hospital district contributed just over $1 million.

The new MRI system will be lifted by a heavy-duty crane through an expanded window at Nanaimo’s hospital. The technology will be in operation by early December after a two-week training session for technologists and radiologists.